If you can bribe your friends with pizza and beer to help you pack and load a rental truck, why bother paying the princely sum for movers? Even if you have an entire football team at your disposal, it’s a bigger job than you ever imagined. Moving is a stressful time, especially if it’s a long distance—why make it tougher than it is?
Before guilting your friends into being your helpers, remember that everyone’s time is linked to a price
. How much do you get paid per hour, even if you’re salaried? Is it going to be worth however many hours it takes to pack, load and drive a slow moving van across state lines? For every hour you spend loading a truck, that’s actually worth a precious and very real dollar amount.
Movers are the best investment you can make—don’t miss out.
Use Your Time for Prep
The one area where you can help with a long distance move is with packing. Most people know about a move well in advance, giving them ample time to slowly pack up items they don’t often use. That china from your wedding? Pack it in those bulky winter sweaters if it’s mid-summer.
If you’re up for some early packing, follow the best advice
as recommended by professional movers:
Your Day-Of Tasks
- Tackle it room by room
- Get liquor store boxes—they’re sturdier, can be found in abundance, and are smaller (easier for you to lift)
- Make use of existing packing “materials” you already have like clothes, extra towels and blankets
- Label boxes by both items and room, and write it on every side of the box
Professional movers work at lightning speed, so you need to make sure you have your essentials separated. Utilize one or two mid-sized clear plastic bins to carry with you or pack last. This bin should include everything you’ll need in the next two weeks, like:
How to Hire Movers
- Paperwork for your new home
- Extra chargers
- Clean underwear, toothbrushes, etc. (you don’t want to be scrambling for these)
- Medications and vitamins
- Basic tools like wrenches, hammers, etc.
- Check with your homeowners or renter’s insurance company that “en route” damage is covered
Not all movers are created equally. Some charge per step (that’s extra cash for every single one), some have higher hourly rates, and some charge for the truck on top of man hours.
Aim for a reasonable rate that works with you, your budget and your situation. If you just bought a house with three stories and a spiral staircase, you’ll want to avoid those who charge per step.
Everyone’s needs are a little different, but you want to check the big items off your shopping list:
The Big Questions
- Movers should be licensed, bonded and insured
- They should take the form of payment you’re comfortable with
- Ensure they’re capable of driving long distances (some are only local)
- Choose a company with great reviews and testimonials
- If necessary, make sure they’re capable of furniture assembly
There are a lot of commonly asked questions about movers, and it’s a good idea to know the basics. For example, who’s responsible for loss or damage? The movers are, but sometimes there’s a dispute and you need to prove that your vase wasn’t cracked or that your couch wasn't stained prior to the move. Take photos of your most beloved possessions and if something is invaluable, such as a portrait of your grandmother, take care of it yourself.
Should you tip movers? Definitely—they’re doing a lot more work than whipping up your morning cappuccino. They don’t depend on tips for a living
and they do get paid at least minimum wage, but they’ve earned it.
Look around for reliable long distance movers in Anaheim CA